Blossom Furtado

"If Nikon were a person, it’d be young, fun, adventurous, dependable, tough, caring and intelligent- all in all an ideal companion "

Nikon Marketing & Brand Communications Manager Blossom Furtado in an exclusive interview with The Label Sticks

1. What are your key points of focus to develop your brand segment to become a niche and premium brand?

At Nikon, we have one key focus point which is consumer engagement and relationship management. We believe the more we interact with our consumer, the closer we get to them, the better they understand the brand and the stronger relationship we build. All this helps us generate strong brand loyalty and create product users as brand advocates, which we consider more effective than a million billboards.

2. What’s your most memorable achievement at Nikon?

Well this wouldn’t be mine alone, but rather the organization’s as a whole and that would be the launch of Nikon School in this part of the world. Nikon School is a world renowned institution of photography and videography that aims to enhance the creative and technical skills of photographers, educating them on how to make the most of their DSLR camera. The courses cater to participants of all levels, from absolute beginners to professionals, with all classes taught by Nikon-certified instructors. The objective of Nikon School is not only to make people better photographers by imparting technical knowledge, but also inspire and help build a photography culture in the UAE and across the Middle East.

On a personal note, winning the “Outstanding Performer” award for the last fiscal year was my most memorable achievement.

3. What do you think is more important? Meeting Needs or Exceeding Expectations?

I do believe that both these complement each other and the latter cannot exist without the fulfillment of the first.  So to summarize this, ‘meeting needs’ is our bare minimum while we relentlessly strive to achieve our vision of ‘exceeding expectations’.

4. Once you signed on, what has kept you at Nikon for so many years?

Nikon’s got one of the best work culture’s I’ve seen- there’s openness, transparency, courtesy, respect for one another, recognition for good work and a strong sense of team-ship. I’ve felt at home right from my first day at work to this day- it’s like family.

5. If Nikon was personified, how would you describe its personality?

I’d say young, fun, adventurous, dependable, tough, caring and intelligent- that’s what makes it an ideal companion I guess.

6. Are you into photography? Which is your favorite Nikon camera?

I never was before I joined Nikon, but now that I’m here I’ve found myself a new passion and a new means of self-expression through my photography and I find that so very liberating. Photography is an art, a means of self-expression– just like music, painting and dance. It’s sad though that we don’t get exposed to it earlier on in life. Now we’ve made that our key focus here at Nikon MEA to ensure kids as young as five, get exposed to photography. It’s great to see the schools backing us up so strongly here. My go to camera is the D5500, its light weight, 24MP, tilt-able screen, touch screen and super-responsive making it my ideal travel buddy.

7. What’s your leadership style? Above the team or with the team?

I think ‘behind the team’.  I conscientiously practice Nelson Mandela’s mantra – “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.” You want your team to deliver, make them feel they’re in-charge, it always guarantees results.

8. What is one characteristic that you believe every brand manager should possess?

Well there’s many but if I was to pick one that’s most critical to success then I’d say flexibility. The only thing that’s constant nowadays is change, so being adaptive & responsive to the constant undulations in market trends really helps keep you ahead of the game.

9. Do you have work ‘friends’? How would you define friendship in the corporate world?

Yes, plenty actually. The team at Nikon is very small and hence we’re a very closely-knit team. To me friendship is a genuine bond between two people and as long as that’s there I think it remains unaffected by the boundaries of corporate and personal worlds.

10. How do you keep up with technological innovations?

Nikon’s always been in the forefront of technological innovation launching many of the world’s first technologies in WIFI, full HD movie recording, highest zooms on cameras like the Nikon P900 (which is presently taking  YouTube by a storm with over  5 Million viewers curious to see the astounding footage of the moon shot from earth on the P900 ) etc.

I believe staying  in touch with our customers  and listening to them is key to keeping us technically advanced because that helps us understand the innovations & advancements customers are looking for in their products thereby keeping us abreast and helping us direct our R&D towards that wish-list.

11. Yours is a field of continuous training… How is university Nikon educating you and keeping you updated with new technologies in the field?

Education is at the epicenter of all our promotional efforts in this region hence, the establishment of Nikon school, to help educate and inspire photographers and hobbyists world over.

12. Where do you see technological innovations in camera technology and accessories going in the next ten years?

The sky is the limit to be honest. With the advancement in technologies we’ve witnessed over the past 10 years (inbuilt Wi-Fi’s in DSLR’s, 4K, 8K, touch screens, Hybrid Photography, NFC) it is almost impossible to predict where the future will go, the only thing I’m certain about is that, it is headed only one way- and that is up.

Socio Meter

1. How many likes on FB as of date?

– 9.2Million

2. How often do you post?

– Everyday

3. Do you have a planned schedule?

– Yes

4. Is there a dedicated agency? Who?

– Yes, Illustrado

5. What is your SM strategy?

– Engage, Engage, Engage. Get as up-close and personal with the fans as we possibly can.